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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Florida
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    Even Kulsveen / Willett

    John/Chuck/Mike

    Who is this mystery man and what's in his current distilling portfolio? I know he makes Noah's Mill and the amazing Johnny Drum Private Stock at the old Willett's premises. But you don't hear much about him or his products -- even on this great forum. I'm not certain I'm even spelling his name correctly.

    Kentucky Vintage, Kentucky Pride, Pure Kentucky XO -- are those also made by Kulsveen? The only literature I can find on Willett, courtesy of Jim Murray's "Complete Guide to Whiskey" says they were hoping to begin distilling again in 1997, "using a traditional Kentucky beer still in conjuction with a pot still."

    Omar


  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Well, you have the spelling of his name correct. Let's see what else I can tell you.

    Even is from Norway. His wife is a Willett. He operates a small bottling line at the old Willett Distillery, which is on the hill above where Heaven Hill's distillery used to be, on the outskirts of Bardstown. He has been talking about reopening the distillery since the early 90s but it never seems to happen. I haven't spoken to him in years so I don't have any really recent information.

    Even was one of the first to really work the export market and produce products especially for European and Asian markets. He "gave the people what they want," with a fair number of decanters and other fancy packaging. The main reason you don't hear much about him is because he doesn't have a lot of distribution in the U.S.

    The question always comes up as to whether he still has any Willett whiskey. Every year there is a report produced showing who has whiskey in bonded warehouses in Kentucky. Willett was not on the 1997 list, the most recent one I have, which says to me that all of the Willett whiskey is exhausted and he is not doing any aging.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2000
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
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    654

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Hi Chuck,
    I've wondered what was going on up on that hill. After they shut down, they used that distillery to produce some sort of pure grain alcohol to replace fuel products. Wish I could be more explicit, all I know is what the *boiler person* told me then.
    I still see traffic coming and going as I pass but, never knew what was happening up there.
    Please tell me what brands he's doing, and what...they're going overseas?
    Bj

    Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
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    Oct 2000
    Location
    Kansas, USA
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    144

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Brenda,
    Chuck and others can probably provide you with more detailed information, but follows is a list of products that I believe Even bottles for distribution:

    Jefferson's Reserve, Sam Houston, Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, Corner Creek, Pure Kentucky, Kentucky Vintage, and Kentucky Pride. There are probably others, both domestic and foreign, but these are the ones that I am aware of.

    Bill
    http://home.kc.rr.com/mashbill/

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nelson County, Kentucky
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    2,735

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Willett's bottles a lot of our (Heaven Hill) miniatures. The Evan Williams, Fighting Cock, and VSQ Coronet brandy.

    boone


  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Feb 2000
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    Florida
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    516

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Chuck,

    If Bill is right about Even's sizeable bottling portfolio, maybe you should pen a profile of him for Malt Advocate. Jefferson's Reserve, Johnny Drum, Pure Kentucky XO and Noah's Mill have all received impressive reviews. That's a lot of good bourbon and virtually no recognition of the man. Is Even a bit of a recluse, I wonder? Does he attend the Bardstown festivals with regularity? Maybe he just needs a good marketing guy (like Ken) to get more exposure.

    Omar
    Eat well. Laugh often. Sip bourbon


  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2000
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    Louisville, Kentucky
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    654

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Thanks Bill,
    So am I correct to assume he doesn't actually distill/produce anything but just bottles? I know Thompson Willett used to do Old Bardstown. Did the family sell the brand or does it no longer exist?
    Bj

    Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nelson County, Kentucky
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    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Hi Brenda

    Old Bardstown still exsists. Heaven Hill owns it and still bottles it almost every week. Bottled in bond only.

    boone


  9. #9
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Punta Gorda, FL
    Posts
    254

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Hello. I have heard about Noah's Mill in a couple of reviews. I have asked around about it here in Florida with no avail no one here seems to know anything about this Bourbon. I am going to be in KY next week and have a few extra dollars to spend on some items this is one on a list of several not readly available here. Any comments on this Bourbon good or bad are appreciated. Thanks in advance. Creggor


  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    516

    Re: Even Kulsveen / Willett

    Hi Brenda,

    Please keep an eye on what's happening up on that hill. If the Willet stock is exhausted since '97 as Chuck suspects, and if all they are doing up there is strictly 'bottling', where's all that great whiskey coming from? Aliens?

    Does the *boiler person* informant have pointy ears? Look out for unmarked "Corn Oil" trucks circling Bardstown in the cover of darkness -- just like in the X-Files movie. Maybe there's a sequel: "Bourbon Files: They Are Out There." Wanna play Agent Dana Scully for us?

    Chuck, I still think there's a big untold story here.

    Be well,
    Omar


 

 

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